inspiration

You Gotta Jump - If You Want To Be Successful

 

In the words of Steve Harvey, “if you want to be successful, you have to jump”.  A very good friend of mine shared a video clip with me a few months back. This video clip is of Steve Harvey standing in a parking garage talking about the dangers of not taking a leap of faith and not going after what you want in life. It’s a very raw, very minimal video about 2 minutes in length but it really resonated with me on a level I cannot even begin to describe to you in words. I have watched this clip about 30 times since the first viewing and I love it more and more every time I watch it.

The concept is so simple yet it’s not something that is simple to do and let’s be honest, not a lot of people actually follow through and do what he is speaking about in that clip. The follow through is much harder than the idea but as my Dad used to tell me when I was growing up, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.  I often wonder if my Dad would feel that way once I tell him that I am going to be doing just that! I guess I will find out soon enough as the time draws near.

Nothing will change my mind or my way of thinking about it because I do believe we have to do what we have to do!  Forge our own paths in this life. Sometimes you just have to say “FUCK IT”!  I have grown tired of dreaming and whishing my weeks away just to get to that glorious 2 day reprieve from the preceding 5 day personal hell.

The time for change is NOW! Albeit scary as anything but if I don’t do this now, then when? When is the right or perfect time? I have learned there is never one. So as the saying goes, it’s now or never or as my wife says to me “shit or get off the pot” See you on the other side folks!

Spreading My Wings - Trying New Things

Anyone who knows my style of photography or about the genre of photography I typically shoot, you know I am an urban exploration shooter. This is my passion and my love. I know photographers can make money at this by selling prints of their work but let’s be honest, how many urbex shooters do you know make a living selling their artwork? By no means am I saying this is impossible to do however let’s say it’s not commonplace.
Over the past year I have been thinking about how I can branch out. Ideas swimming around in my head. Personal projects I want to work on but mainly I wonder, how can I start making some real money at this? I have settled upon doing portraiture and headshots. It seemed very fitting seeing as I am currently the headshot photographer at my full time job. It was a no brainer. I truly enjoy the interaction with the client while shooting. Dealing with people and photographing them. Bringing out the best I can in them.
Recently I have found inspiration in watching some training videos on mastering the perfect headshot as well as other educational videos on different methods and styles of shooting headshots. One in particular by a photographer whose work I really admire, Peter Hurley. He has inspired me! I just love to watch him work and learn from him. He is a master at his craft and seems incredibly down to earth and to be honest, a very cool guy. Seeing as I don’t have a half decent headshot myself it would be a thrill to meet him and have him take my headshot. Seems pretty strange for a photographer not to have a really great headshot, I know.
Watching his videos has inspired me to not only branch out and try a new avenue to generate revenue but to experiment and pursue a new method of lighting to incorporate into my headshots. I gave this method a shot a couple of weeks ago for a friend of mine who is a real estate agent here in the Toronto area and I must say I am quite pleased with how they turned out. I know he is happy with the end results as well. Spreading your wings and branching out and trying new things can be very scary at times but the risk can be well worth the reward. I know I still have to practice and work on my technique but I am excited about this new journey I am embarking on in the photography world and I look forward to learning and developing my style as a headshot photographer.

Giving Back To The Community - Everybody Wins

As a business owner, giving back to your community is such an integral part of who we are and who we should be as entrepreneurs. It’s almost as though there should be an unwritten rule about giving back in the entrepreneur handbook (of course there is no such book). Although, I believe it really shouldn’t be “unwritten” and there really should be a handbook or guide of do’s and don’ts but that’s a whole other topic.
A couple of nights ago I had the esteemed pleasure of attending an incredible event. The event was put on by a woman named Katia Millar, a woman to whom I was informally introduced by a mutual friend a few months ago. She started a meet up group called Positive Fabulous Women in 2008 and let me tell you, she is positive AND nothing short of fabulous. What this woman has done for thousands of women across the GTA and her community is astounding. Her network of female members, followers and fans is 8000 plus and continually growing. She organizes monthly events with guest speakers, live twitter chats and webinars for her members. These members donate door prizes from their business, whether it be tangible prizes or one on one mentoring sessions from their individual businesses.
These events are held with the purpose of women getting together to network, discuss their businesses, goals, aspirations and most importantly build each other up, support and empower one another. Not only are they members of this network but they all give back to the community in one way or another, whether it be through mentorship or simply what they do as entrepreneurs on a daily basis. It truly is inspiring to be in their presence.
As an attendee and being one of the only men in the entire room, I have to say it was a little intimidating but the experience was without a doubt, three of the most inspiring hours of my life. What an incredible experience, listening to some of these women share their stories of building their businesses from the ground up. Sharing their successes as well as some of their failures because we all know, without failure there is no success. It was truly a magical evening. If any of my female readers are thinking about going into business or may already be a seasoned entrepreneur, I highly recommend you go to one of the Positive Fabulous Women events, I can guarantee you will walk away filled with inspiration! It will be 3 of the most valuable hours of your career. I honestly wish I could attend these sessions but sadly they are restricted to women only.

I strongly encourage all business owners to donate their time to some community cause or event, it will leave you feeling fulfilled. I know for me personally donating my time as a photographer for the event the other night, it did exactly that for me and I will definitely be doing more of that in the future.
I would just like to say thank you to Katia Millar for allowing me to be part of and the brief glimpse into her incredible world that is Positive Fabulous Women.

Creative Slumps - How Can We Dig Ourselves Out?

As an artist I am always seeking ways to be and stay inspired. This can prove to be a very, very tough thing to constantly maintain. It’s very important to remain on track and not get discouraged, otherwise you will end up falling down the proverbial rabbit hole known as the creative slump or creative block.

How are we supposed to stay inspired you ask? Well for me as a photographer, I take to the internet and peruse the millions of images out there for ideas and inspiration. I will sometimes listen to music that I love, of all different genres. Music, I have come to find, can inspire a mood, thought or idea which in turn lead to creative bursts. Pinterest could be another source for inspiration. Take a look at other artist’s boards and it doesn’t have to be an artist who works in your particular medium. You can find the inspiration for creativity in many places, you just have to open your eyes and mind and pay attention to your surroundings sometimes. Your next great work of art could be staring you right in the face and you aren’t even aware of it.

Some other possible avenues to explore are just plainly talking to people. Conversation can be a great initiator for ideas. Try reading the newspaper! It may spawn an idea from current events which could turn into an idea to perhaps work on a charitable project. There are many ways to pull ourselves out of those horrible dark creative slumps, we just have to be willing to do the work to pull ourselves up and out.

I will be the first to admit, it’s not always easy to cut through all the noise, focus and come up with ideas but if you just take a moment, step back and are ABLE to see the forest for the trees, you just may be pleasantly surprised with what you can create.

Image courtesy of stellarjunk.blogspot.com